I'm listening to the popping fireworks outside and thinking of last year when some lovely neighbors two doors down set our lawn on fire. Emmett was so angry. I went outside this evening for a moment and saw the neighbor in between us was hosing down her yard, trees, and roof in preparation for this year's festivities. I had to chuckle.
This morning was spent cleaning the house and playing with Quinn. I forced myself to play music, something Emmett always thought to do, so it wouldn't be so quiet. It occurred to me that this was the first time I had cleaned my house in... well, let's just say I can't remember. Between parents and friends helping out, it may have been over a year since I have done more than the occasional spot clean. Six months ago, I wouldn't have even thought my house was dirty because I hardly noticed those things.
When Emmett was sick, there was no down time. I woke up in time to get dressed, give Emmett medicine, get Quinn to school, go to work, come home, snag some time with Emmett before picking Quinn up and finishing the evening with frantically preparing things for the next day before I could snag a few hours sleep. I think back and wonder how I made it through. There was no free time, no need to make decisions about how to spend my time. Everything was portioned out with no margins. Occasional free moments were spent at the gym or reading in a desperate attempt to preserve my sanity.
The past few weeks, although not packed quite as tightly, were also filled with things to do while I had the help I needed. With Emmett's services, two birthdays, countless friends and family to see, and numerous details to put in order, my schedule has felt very much the same - moving from one thing to another, putting out the nearest fire and moving on. But now, this week, starting today, there is a new kind of normal. Today was filled with wide open spaces of time. We played, I cleaned, I napped, we visited friends, and yet I still managed to feel anxious, as if I were forgetting something.
So I'm in training to teach myself how to handle free time, to learn to have interests again, and to be still. It's not going well so far, but here's to hoping it gets easier.